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The five basic Yogas

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posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 08:52 AM
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Many modern methods of "self-improvement" are actually much, much older. They come from ancient India. Not many people in India actually practice Yoga and not many westerners actually know the whole story on Yoga, so here is an overview of various paths to what they call Moksha (Liberation, Enlightenment).

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is the physical Yoga most commonly known to westerners, who would associate it with stretching and workout. It includes exercises for every part of the body and also breathing-techniques that alter ones state.



Jnana Yoga

Is the Yoga of Knowledge, Wisdom and Discernment.

Jnana Yoga teaches that the path to Moksha is to differentiate between that which is Absolute (God) and that which is Relative (Everything else in the Universe), between that which is Real (the Infinite) and that which is Unreal (everything that is not Infinite). According to Jnana Yoga one must detach from everything that is changing and temporary and direct full dedication and focus to that which is unchanging and forever.




Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Selfless Service.

It addresss discipline, action, work and selfless service without attachment to a reward as a path to Moksha.



Raja Yoga

Raja (Royal) Yoga is the Yoga of Meditation.

It addresses mental focus, mind-techniques, meditative exercises, awareness, perception, memory, self, universe as a means to Moksha.



Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti-Yoga is Devotion to God.

It deals with devotional love of and prayer to the Divine and experience of the most High as a path to Moksha.



According to the scriptures, any one of these paths, except Hatha Yoga which is more of a preparatory or intermediate to higher Yogas, will lead to Enlightenment. If anyone has any questions, Im glad to answer to the best of my understanding. If anyone wishes to philosophize or exchange experiences, Im looking forward to it.

[edit on 3-12-2009 by Skyfloating]




posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 09:23 AM
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Where does Kundalini come in? Is it like the red headed step child of the Yogas? (..Yogi?)



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by Tgautier13
Where does Kundalini come in? Is it like the red headed step child of the Yogas?


Thats a good way of describing it. In my understanding its a "secret" or "advanced" version of Hatha Yoga that is not purely physical but includes the energy-body, the chakras and various visualization, chanting and breathing techniques aimed at awakening energy from the base of the spine up through the head.

From all the Yogas its probably most associated with altered states.

[edit on 3-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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As an individual opinion: Yoga will lead no-one to enlightenment, for it can be only reached by the will. If you want enough to become enlightened, eventually you become to think that you are enlightened. You'll appear to be harmonous, calm, caring and loving person, but that it is all you are; a person.

But yoga (hatha) can be good for the flexibility of the body, just don't breathe too much if you aren't used to that


Also, bear in mind that yoga is equivalent to religion, by the root meaning of the words:

The term yoga comes from a Sanskrit word which means yoke or union.
Source


Likewise, religion, from Latin 'religare' meaning 'to bind', describes our connection to God as the One thing which exists.
Source

To bind, union, pretty much same thing. But if you want yoga, OP is a great index to start looking on the matter, although little more verbose descriptions or further links would've been nice.


-v

[edit on 3-12-2009 by v01i0]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by v01i0
As an individual opinion: Yoga will lead no-one to enlightenment, for it can be only reached by the will.


Thats what some versions of Raja Yoga say. Others say that personal will only goes so and so far and that it must be coupled with Divine Will.

My own view is that neither actually "lead to" enlightenment.



You'll appear to be harmonous, calm, caring and loving person, but that it is all you are; a person.


Enlightenment is not necessarily everyones goal. The items you listed would be more than enough to have a good time on earth.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Thank you for a nice introduction, Ive practised yoga for about 5 years now, but I dont know much of Yogas history, so this was informing


Thank you



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 



Originally posted by Skyfloating
The items you listed would be more than enough to have a good time on earth.


Yea I suppose so, as far as they would be genuine emotions in the very end - otherwise one might've bad time actually.


Originally posted by Skyfloating
Enlightenment is not necessarily everyones goal.


Again an opionated input but I don't think that one should even want enlightenment. Might be that by wanting it one actually prevents reaching it - but I don't know if such thing as enlightenment even exists.. Yet it is totally different issue so it might not be an good idea to start discussing it on this thread.

But as for yoga, been practicing it for couple of years - basically the hatha one, as I am not one of those who might be portrayed as a religious individuals - and I might say that it has helped me to keep my body somewhat flexible; I would imagine that without it (just because I am lazy to deal with sport hobbies) I quite likely would be far in worse condition. I have some problems with pelvis, and it helps with it as well.

-v

[edit on 3-12-2009 by v01i0]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by v01i0
Again an opionated input but I don't think that one should even want enlightenment. Might be that by wanting it one actually prevents reaching it


In a sense it does. Every "want" implies an absence of something.




I don't know if such thing as enlightenment even exists.


Certain very, very awesome states do exist, Ive experienced them.

I however do not believe that a wave can "become" an ocean because it already is the ocean.



Yet it is totally different issue so it might not be an good idea to start discussing it on this thread.


Judging from your original post where you say "Yoga does not lead to enlightenment but the will does" and from this statement, you seem to equate Yoga with Hatha Yoga. The purpose of this thread was to show that Yoga is also Meditation, Will, Religion and that which you just claimed is something "totally" different.



But as for yoga, been practicing it for couple of years - basically the hatha one,


So Hatha then. That explains it.

But as for yoga, been practicing it for couple of years - basically the hatha one,



without it I quite likely would be far in worse condition. I have some problems with pelvis, and it helps with it as well.


I havent been practicing much physical Yoga but hope to do so more in 2010.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by v01i0
Also, bear in mind that yoga is equivalent to religion, by the root meaning of the words:


Religion can also be done without Proselytizing, creating Dogma, laying out rigid rules, etc. Pure Religion can by like Bhakti Yoga:

"One single moment of the madness of extreme love to God brings us eternal freedom"

- Vivekananda





[edit on 3-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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Another way to put the 5 Yogas:

Body-Yoga
Mind-Yoga
Heart-Yoga
Awareness-Yoga
God-Yoga

Kundalini-Yoga could be called Energy-Yoga



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


I really like the ocean metaphora you used; never heard that before.


I do know that there are emotional states where one feels to be closer to the rest than on some other times; but to me this contemplation is constant, not temporary. The wave should be constantly aware that it is indeed part of the ocean, while still understaning that it is a distinct wave compared to other waves. This so called 'enlightenment' then isn't something spectacular, but rather a natural state of being.

Yeah, I use practices I learned from Hatha Yoga merely for physical exercises, not for meditation.

Anyways, I had something else to say but due the moment, I am objected to remain any further on the front of the screen. Maybe back a little later.

-v



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


so something i've been confused about in my yoga research...do all the yogas use poses and stretching as hatha yoga?

i practice kundalini yoga and i just can't say enough about the benefits that i've seen in such a short time, but i've heard there are controversies about the validity of kundalini yoga as opposed to the other yogas.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 



Originally posted by Skyfloating
Religion can also be done without Proselytizing, creating Dogma, laying out rigid rules, etc.


I kinda agree - the dogmatic religions tend to disregard the personal psychological development. We all have been grown up in different environments, including our own feelings, emotions and so on - which are the psychological conditions - but also the physical conditions, i.e what have happened to us during our individual lives; this is why I reject any religion.

I am unsure whether the religion is a good word at all, as it is often implied precisely to the dogmatic religions, even when it means something else (as pointed out in preceding posts). We all have our own paths, and no-one except yourself can guide you on your spiritual path; I also reject gurus and teachers. Most of them are charlatans, intentionally or not. It is a huge responsibility to perform as a teacher, for one has to be very aware of the psychological and physiological conditions of the student in order to be able to advice one in right direction. Besides, while many are sincere, they seem to be unaware the fact we all have our individual mindset with all it's pecularities, and what works for you, doesn't work for me.

We all have our little mountain sides to climb, our individual paths to walk; if someone knows the destination where other one is going, perhaps then one can carefully point to correct direction - but no matter what, one shouldn't make an attempt to tell the other how to walk.

Again, all above are only opinions, while I may find religions with priests, teachers and gurus obsolete, someone else may find them important and the path impossible without their help. If religion is one's path, I have no other advice than go for it, but be careful.

-v

[edit on 3-12-2009 by v01i0]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by double_frick
 


While the question wasn't directed for me, I might answer since I have some information about those issues.

First, not all yogas require positions and poses; raja yoga, as far as I know, is mainly meditation, and you can do it in whatever position you find appropriate.

Second, while other yoga schools (as well as decent religions) doesn't judge other schools and religions to be fraudulent or wrong, many members (practitioners) of these schools claim that only their discipline is the true and only way. The true schools and religions do recognize that there are many ways that lead to same goal, and that everyone should individually pick appropriate one according to one's needs - if one needs a one.

-v



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by v01i0
This so called 'enlightenment' then isn't something spectacular, but rather a natural state of being.


Im glad someone would see it that way, that view of Enlightenment is rare.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by double_frick
so something i've been confused about in my yoga research...do all the yogas use poses and stretching as hatha yoga?


No. Most westerners think Hatha Yoga is what Yoga is. Kundalini-Yoga, Kriya-Yoga, Hatha-Yoga are connected to physical exercises.

Bhakti Yoga is religious worship. If I go to a temple, kneel down and pray I am practicing Bhakti Yoga.

Raja Yoga is Meditation and Mental Exercises. If I stare at a cloud for an hour, even after its disappeared, thats Raja Yoga.

Karma Yoga is action and selfless service. If I volunteer as a Mod on ATS without getting paid, thats Karma Yoga




i practice kundalini yoga and i just can't say enough about the benefits that i've seen in such a short time, but i've heard there are controversies about the validity of kundalini yoga as opposed to the other yogas.


Kundalini Yoga is not part of the regular Yogas, but that doesnt mean its invalid. The equivalent in the west would kind of be like using Magic as opposed to going to Church.

I havent used Kundalini-Yoga, so I cant make a Judgement (I have had so-called Kundalini-Experiences though).

[edit on 3-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:51 PM
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The idea behind Kriya and Kundalini Yoga is to "get there more quickly" by manipulating energy.Traditionalists dont believe in manipulating energy, they believe that doing so can cause disaster, nervous breakdown, mental illness.

As far as I know the type of Kundalini-Yoga offered to westerners is mostly harmless, an extension of Hatha-Yoga with some Chakra-Meditations thrown in. That would certainy improve ones overall energy state.

[edit on 3-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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Also, bear in mind that yoga is equivalent to religion, by the root meaning of the words:

The term yoga comes from a Sanskrit word which means yoke or union.
Source


This is not true. Yoga is not a religion. If you practice meditation or Yoga Asanas, it does not make you religious, but you could suggest it makes you spiritual. There are millions of Yoga and meditation practitioners who do not belong to any religion and would resent being called religious.

Moreover, Yoga in its proper form is an exact science. Hatha Yoga is not just a random set of exercises, the exercises have been devised after careful study of the body and mind and their relationships. Other forms of Yoga such as Bhakti and Karma Yoga, seem to be less scientific, but they are basically applied methods or techniques based on scientific principles discussed in Yoga texts. The most authorative and and systematic of those Yoga texts is the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali.

The first Sutra of the Yogasutras defines Yoga as "Chit-Vritti Nirodha" This means that Yoga is a science which deals with the cessation of thought-waves within the mind-field. It states that when this thought-waves are gradually diminished, then we can directly experience the contentless state of consciousness. As you put it earlier: the natural state of our being.
At others times, this contentless consciousness becomes entangled with the thought waves, leading to it becoming identified with the thought-waves. Those thought waves are classified into five categories: Correct knowledge, fallacious knowledge, imagination, states of awareness and memory. These 5 types of thought-waves together produce hundreds of thousands of thought-waves which become our reality. Thus, to alter our reality, we diminish the thought waves and we will experience other realities. These are known as mystical states to us. I have experienced them myself, so I know there are other realities.

The Yoga Sutras then givess a method by which we can diminish those thought waves, which to be stated simply is to concentrate your focus on one object. This object can be anything, your breath, a concept, an idol, a diagram, a sound or phrase, another person. Now this is how Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga connect in. In both you are concentrating your focus on one object. In Bhakti Yoga it is on a deity and in Karama Yoga it is on your work. The act of focussing your mind on one object brings down the thought-wave activity gradually and with sustained concentration, new realities are experienced.

Common examples of the kind of new realties experienced are sensory deprivation where the entire external world will blank out; visions in the form of colours, shapes; vivid sensations, which can include sensations of very minute things like atoms; profound states of relaxation; the sensation of moving, spinning and/or sinking; Sensations of extreme lightness; out of body travel; states of being which feel like one is merging with everything; communication with spiritual beings; bliss.

Those who have experienced these new realities in meditation become completely convinced that other planes of reality do exist and they are spiritual beings that wll continue to exist after the death of their body. This may even lead to huge indifference to physical reality and it is commonly found in meditators in the East, espcially with the monks and Siddhas.


As an individual opinion: Yoga will lead no-one to enlightenment, for it can be only reached by the will. If you want enough to become enlightened, eventually you become to think that you are enlightened. You'll appear to be harmonous, calm, caring and loving person, but that it is all you are; a person.


This is also not true. Yoga will lead to enlightenment, because it will create the conditions within the mind-field that will allow other realities to be experienced directly and spontaneously. It is neither an intellectual process or a belief system or self-deception or a combination of all these. You cannot think yourself into enlightenment or believe yourself into enlightenment, enlightenment is something which just happens when you create the conditions for it. It will be plain as day light when you reach enlightenment, because you will directly experience it.

There is also relative enlightenment, that is enlightenment where you will experience other realities such as the spiritual planes, but this is not absolute enlightenment as the fact that you are still experiencing reality in terms of "otherness" means your mindfield still has thought-wave content.
When you reach absolute enlightenment you will experience what the many mystics in many traditions have called the "indescribable" or "absolute" - god basically. In this state you will experience omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and absolute bliss.

[edit on 3-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


You`d have to define your understanding of the words "Religion" and "Enlightenment". It really depends on what you mean by those terms. I think you mean something different by them than the poster you are speaking to.

[edit on 4-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 12:56 AM
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Question, how does one know when they've reached what you all deem or label as "enlightment"?



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